Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

The Meeting Point Olivia Lara 4*#Review @olilara_writes @HoZ_Books @Aria_Fiction #Romance #Serendipity #soulmates #Love #BookReview #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTour #TheMeetingPoint

What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?

‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’

‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’

And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday. So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus – Aria via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a heartwarming romantic comedy with an element of mystery set in California. Maya’s life is not turning out how she planned. When a career-making assignment implodes, Maya decides to surprise her boyfriend in California. Maya’s text to her boyfriend is answered by a stranger who has unwelcome news but offers a chance for fun that she decides to accept., Vividly created characters immerse the reader in their story. The romance is gentle, and there’s a mystery to solve. With lots of heartache and humour, this is a lovely escapist read for those who believe in love, serendipity and soulmates.

Olivia Lara

OLIVIA LARA‘s love for words started as a child when she spent her summer vacations watching her grandfather, who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania, edit hundreds of books. She is a former journalist for a newspaper and a television network in Bucharest, now a Marketing VP in San Francisco – in between she lived in France where her love for Paris and the Alsace region was born. Her first book, Someday in Paris, became a B&N, Apple, Kobo and Amazon Top 100 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel Awards. She lives in the Bay Area, California.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Literary Humour, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Woman of a Certain Rage Georgie Hall 5*#Review @GeorgieHallUK @HoZ_Books #WomanofaCertainRage #Women #Ageing #Menopause #humour #loss #BookReview

Eliza is angry. Very angry, and very, very hot.

Late for work and dodging traffic, Eliza’s still reeling from the latest row with her husband Paddy. Twenty-something years ago their eyes met over the class divide in oh-so-cool Britpop London, but these days their eyes only meet to bicker over the three-seat sofa.

Paddy seems content filling his downtime with canal boats and cricket, but Eliza craves the freedom and excitement of her youth. Being fifty feels far too close to pensionable, their three teenage children are growing up fast, and even the dog has upped and died. Something is going to have to change—menopause be damned!

Woman of a Certain Rage is a smart and funny novel for all the women who won’t be told it’s too late to shake things up, and Eliza is a heroine many will recognise. She may sweat a lot and need a wee all the time, but she has something to prove. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from ‘Head of Zeus’ via NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

My Thoughts…

This story captures the essence of what it’s like for most women growing older, with a wealth of experience and knowledge but not to be seen. Eliza’s story immerses the reader in a myriad of emotions, there are many hilarious moments, but these are tempered by the fear, poignancy and the sense of loss.

Eliza is menopausal and suffering. Her body is unrecognisable, life’s pleasures seem a distant memory, and everyone appears to be getting on with their lives without her. This is an entertaining read written in an engaging but relatable way. It explores many issues that women at this stage of their life face.

It’s an easy read and will appeal to many women of a certain age.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Motivational, New Books, Romance

Finding Summer Happiness Chris Penhall 4*#Review @ChrisPenhall @RubyFiction @ChocLituk @rararesources #Summer #SecondChance #Escape #Friendship #Community #Romance #uplit

You won’t find happiness without breaking a few eggs…

Miriam Ryan was the MD of a successful events and catering company, but these days even the thought of chopping an onion sends her stress levels sky rocketing. A retreat to the Welsh village of her childhood holidays seems to offer the escape she’s craving – just peace, quiet, no people, a generous supply of ready meals… did she mention no people?
Enter a cheery pub landlord, a lovesick letting agent, a grumpy astronomer with a fridge raiding habit – not to mention a surprise supper club that requires the chopping of many onions – and Miriam realises her escape has turned into exactly what she was trying to get away from, but could that be just the thing she needs to allow a little bit of summer happiness into her life?

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I received a copy of this book from Ruby Fiction in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A gentle, humorous story that explores life’s pressures and how taking a trip, even if it is not what you expected, can give you a better perspective. Miriam finds running her successful company is damaging her health. Her escape is not what she expects. However, it helps her to come to terms with her past and present life.

The setting is well-described and integral to Miriam’s life changes. Believable characters add emotion and vibrancy to the story. There is a good mix of humour and poignancy with uplifting friendship, romance and self-realisation.

This is a lovely escapist summer read.

Chris Penhall

Chris Penhall won the 2019 Choc-Lit Search for a Star competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, for her debut novel, The House That Alice Built. The sequel, New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun was published in August 2020. Her short story, Lily McKee’s Seven Days of Christmas appears in Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction’s Cosy Christmas Treats anthology.

Her new novel, Finding Summer Happiness, which is set in Pembrokeshire in South West Wales was published in May 2021.

Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio.
She also has her own podcast – The Talking to My Friends About Book Podcast in which she chats to her friends about books. Good title!

Born in Neath in South Wales, she has also lived in London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it!

A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook, and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Promise of Summer Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella @rararesources #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #publicationday #ThePromiseofSummer

Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…

After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?

When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.   
 
As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?

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I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a lovely Summer book full of humour, mystery and romance. Ruby works at a friendly florist shop and is friends with Kim, the owner. She travels to London for an important appointment and meets two men on the train who influence her future life.

Trying to return the ring draws Curtis and Ruby together with amusing results he is a mysterious man but appears kind. The original plot is peppered with witty humour, gentle romance and mysteries to solve. It keeps you turning the pages to see what happens next to Ruby and Kim.

There are plenty of conflicts to happy endings, for the women in this book with past loves and disgruntled relatives causing problems. The animal characters are worth a mention, as they add humour and poignancy to the story. Boomer and Seymour are wonderfully portrayed.

The relationship dynamics are so well written. They draw the reader into the characters’ lives, making what happens to Kim and Ruby count. The plot has unexpected twists and not all the characters are what they first appear to be. The ending is romantic and satisfying, leaving the reader with a heartwarming hug.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Humour, Literary Humour, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

Death and Croissants Ian Moore 4*#Review @MonsieurLeMoore @farragobooks @BGLitAgency @RandomTTours #cozymystery #France #Rural #MurderMystery #humour #mystery #FolletValleyMystery #DeathandCroissants #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author and Farrago Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an originally styled cosy mystery set in rural France with an unexciting Englishman and a mysterious French woman as the amateur sleuths. The writing is full of sensory imagery, which makes the reading experience enjoyable. It’s easy to imagine the characters and settings. It would translate well to television.

Richard is eccentric and innately humorous. Valerie is glamorous and secretive, and they form an unlikely but mutually beneficial crime-fighting alliance. Whilst the plot is simple, the characters’ dialogue and the vividly described action make this enjoyable.

Ian Moore

Ian Moore is a leading stand-up comedian, known for his sharp, entertaining punditry. A TV/radio regular, he stars in Dave’s satirical TV show Unspun and Channel 5’s topical comedy Big Mouths. He is also the author of two memoirs on life in France. À la Mod and C’est Modnifique. Ian lives in the Loire and commutes back to the UK every week. In his spare time, he makes mean chutneys and jams.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Summer of Second Chances Carol Thomas 4*#Review @carol_thomas2 @ChocLituk @rararesources #SecondChance #Summer #Romance #Friendship #Humour #RomCom #BlogTour #BookReview #BankHolidayWeekend #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation #ASummerofSecondChances

Does first love deserve a second chance?

Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small, running – especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.


But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind – All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Choc Lit in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a charming and heartwarming story about second chances and village life.

Ava runs the charity shop in the village of Dapplebury, forsaking her true vocation. The village needs rejuvenation, but at what cost to its heritage and the surrounding wildlife? Henry returns to the village after years away and history with Ava. He has the power to change the village but will this be a good thing?

The romance is gentle and fraught with conflict. The village characters are relatable, and there is a believable village vibe. The plot has humour, mystery and surprises. The animal characters are the stars.

A lovely summery story full of community spirit, friendship and love.

Carol Thomas

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. When she is not in school, chasing after her children, or stopping her dog from eating things he shouldn’t, she can be found loitering in cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial

The Promise of Summer Part 1- With This Ring… Bella Osborne 5* #Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #preorder #ThePromiseofSummer

With a terrible track record when it comes to men, Ruby has all but given up on love. She finally decides to take fate into her own hands and boards a train to London to attend the appointment of a lifetime.

When a stranger starts chatting to her, Ruby’s faith in romance is restored as he nervously reveals a sparkling diamond and an extravagant proposal plan. When he leaves the ring behind, Ruby is determined to track him down – but fellow passenger Curtis has other ideas about how best to save the day.

Can this unlikely pair reunite the ring with its rightful owner before it’s too late?

Pre-order Amazon UK

Publication Date – 26th May 2021

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The first part of a new series is something to celebrate, and this one is full of humour, mystery and romance. Ruby works at a friendly florist shop and is friends with Kim, the owner. She travels to London for an important appointment. She meets two men on the train who influence her future life.

Trying to return the ring draws Curtis and Ruby together with amusing results he is a mysterious man but appears kind. The original plot is peppered with witty humour, gentle romance and mysteries to solve. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Borrow a BookShop Holiday Kiley Dunbar 5*#Review @KileyDunbar @HeraBooks @rararesources #Romance #holiday #humour #BlogTour #BookReview #RomCom #Friendship #TheBorrowaBookshopHoliday

The Fully Booked Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.

Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Fully Booked Bookshop, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.

Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story has beautifully crafted complex characters, believable relationship dynamics and a lovely coastal setting. The idea of taking your holiday in a bookshop is an appealing prospect. This is a detailed story with the painstaking character development of Jude, the main protagonist so that the reader appreciates how important an experience running the bookshop in the tiny coastal community is for her.

Jude’s life before the bookshop experience is as a carer for her Gran supporting her parents’ business and studying for a part-time degree. Her secret relationship with a professor at her University implodes on graduation day, forcing Jude to gain insight into her current life. She is a giving and loyal woman for whom family is everything. Caring for her Gran has put her life on hold to the point where she is anxious to move out of her comfort zone to see what the world offers for her.

Jude’s anxiety is written believably with sensitivity. The quirky community, meeting Elliot and running the bookshop make her realise that life is for living. The story is often humorous with a cast of vividly written characters and a charismatic dog. The friendship and eventual romance with Elliot are conflicted and resolved in a climatic and poignant way as his secrets are revealed.

Kiley Dunbar

Kiley Dunbar writes of heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.

Kiley also works as a senior lecturer, teaching creative writing at the Manchester Writing School. One Winter’s Night was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Extract, Humour, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Italy Ever After Leonie Mack 4*#Review @LeonieMAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #Extract #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour @rararesources #RomCom #Romance #Summer #Family #SecondChance #Italy #holidayromance #MondayBlogs #ItalyEverAfter

Escape to the sun and head off to Italy, with the wonderfully warm and ever-so-page-turning Leonie Mack!

TV journalist Lou feels battered and bruised after her divorce from Phil, the father of her daughter Edie. Her confidence and sense of fun have steadily been drained away, and she isn’t sure who she is any more.

When the opportunity arises to accompany Edie on a music camp in Italy for a month in the summer, Lou jumps at the chance for new adventures, new horizons and new friends. The hazy warmth of the summer sun, shining brightly over the stunning Lake Garda, slowly brings Lou back to life. 

Nick Romano, Edie’s music teacher, loves being home in Italy, but coaching his students for their concert in Milan, is bringing back difficult memories. His blossoming friendship with Lou is the perfect distraction, although a summer fling would be easier to conduct without the scrutiny of his mother Greta, not to mention the interference of his extended Italian family.

As the summer passes, full of sunshine and breath-taking scenery, gelato and delicious feasts, Lou and Nick get ever closer. But as the time for farewell creeps up on them, will they be able to say goodbye and leave their memories behind in the Italian sun, or can a summer romance last a lifetime?

Leonie Mack is back with a sizzling, sun-baked love story.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I love romance set in Italy, and as this one is set around Lake Garda, somewhere I’ve visited, I couldn’t resist it.

Just about to be divorced Lou, is still reeling from the fallout, we meet her ex in the opening chapters, and he is not likeable. Her confidence is low despite her career in front of the TV cameras, and it’s clear she is a kind and loving woman who doesn’t value herself. Her latest meeting with Mr (Nick) Romano right after her latest confrontation with the ex is unsettling for them both and makes her wonder whether helping out on the school music camp in Italy is sensible.

The chemistry sizzling between Lou and Nick gets hotter in beautiful Lake Garda, and there are lots of nearly moments that are romantic. The conflicts to their possible relationship are both internal and external, but they are good for each other, and you want them to find happiness together.

The musical setting adds authenticity to the story and is integral to Nick’s backstory. The balance of humour, poignancy and romance is good, and the ending is romantic and uplifting.

Leonie Mack

Leonie Mack is a debut novelist whose first book My Christmas Number One was published by Boldwood in September 2020. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

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Extract from Italy Ever After – Leonie Mack

Damn him. Phil was winning this game. His look was tolerant. His eyes were warm, even vaguely fond. Lou was losing. Her jaw was clenched so hard she felt like a petulant child with braces. She smoothed her hand down her tailored skirt. Confronting him in her work clothes was supposed to remind her she could deal with him like an adult. But really, she wanted to run home and change into her sweats, as she usually did after her shift. 

‘She’s eleven, Lou. This is her last summer before secondary school. Can’t you let up a little?’ 

He was the voice of reason, too? Phil never raised his voice because he never needed to. He was the kind of man who spoke and it was done. He was attractive, too – even now at forty-four – which meant he’d never had to stay single for long. She couldn’t blame the woman who’d become his girlfriend only a few months after their separation – except that she could blame her and she would. It was the right of a nearly officially ex-wife, right? 

‘All Edie wants to do is play music. Elite tuition and orchestra rehearsals is her idea of paradise. I’m not forcing her to do anything.’ 

His lips twitched. ‘And a few weeks in the Italian sunshine is your idea of a nice free holiday?’ 

Strike one. She would have been satisfied to hear him behaving like the juvenile ex-husband, except that he was an expert at pressing her overdeveloped sense of her own inadequacy button. 

‘It’s not a holiday for me. I’m going as a chaperone and I have to pay my own way. The only reason I’ve volunteered is because Edie is one of the youngest kids going. Most of the parents are looking forward to the three weeks of childcare before the competition’ 

‘You can always send her to us. You know that. You don’t have to martyr yourself.’ 

Lou choked on his sympathy, wishing he would do the same. She took a deep breath. She should have accepted by now that Phil’s wiring where she was concerned would never change. 

‘Can we get back to the point? Edie wants to go and it’s a unique opportunity. This youth music festival only happens every four years. She’ll get to play in an orchestra under a professional conductor and participate in a competition.’ 

Phil held up a hand. ‘I did read the information you emailed me. But I fail to see why our eleven-year-old has to participate in a very expensive competition. You’ve already forced my hand with the school choice. I’d say you’re pretty low on credit with me at the moment.’ 

Lou recoiled. She needed ‘credit’ to get Phil to consider her opinion about their daughter? How was an ex-wife supposed to earn credit? Not only was she forced to serenely ignore the practical difficulties of having day-to-day responsibility for their daughter alone, but Phil still required her to manage him to make sure they did their best by Edie. Good God, it was miserable. 

Phil looked at her with his unflappably perfect haircut and warm eyes with their distinguished crinkles that on her would be called crow’s feet. It was clear why she’d thrown herself at him twelve years ago when she’d been a young and stupid graduate with too little understanding of the world’s faults – and far too little contraception. What was less clear was how she was supposed to deal with him now. 

‘You know how much she loves playing the violin.’ 

‘I know, she does little else.’ 

Edie practised especially diligently at Phil’s because it meant less time with the obsequious girlfriend. 

‘I’m still not sure I want to encourage her obsession.’ 

‘Then you’ll be happy to know the camp takes that into account. Although they rehearse every day, there’s also time dedicated to outdoor activities and confidence-building. I think we can both agree that it would be good for Edie to have some confidence outside her musical talent.’ 

The faintest glint in his eye was the only clue that he was feeling the pressure. But Phil never backed off. Instead, he calmly went on the offensive. ‘So, you plan to make Edie do a high ropes course while you sit in the sun at Sirmione sipping an Aperol Spritz?’ 

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Promise of Summer Bella Osborne #CoverReveal @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella @rararesources #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #preorder #ThePromiseofSummer

Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…

After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?

When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.   
 
As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?

Pre-order LinksAmazon UK Amazon Kobo

Publication Date – 22nd July 2021

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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